Innovating Cardiac Care

Photography provided by The Christ Hospital


You feel a jarring ache in your chest and you become weak and clammy. You might feel pain shooting down your left arm if you’re male; if you’re female, the pain may be in your upper back, jaw and neck.

A blood vessel flowing to your heart is blocked. In the absence of blood flow, your heart will begin to die within 20 minutes. Blood flow must be restored by a clot-dissolving medication (thrombolysis) and a balloon angioplasty procedure.

You or someone around you must act soon. Every second is crucially important.

This is how a heart attack strikes.

But you have a plan in place. You’ve prepared for this. An ambulance is called and arrives within minutes to rush you to The Christ Hospital. The thrombolysis is administered. The angioplasty is performed.

Congratulations! You are now a heart attack survivor.

But not everyone is so lucky. More people die every year from heart attacks than from stroke and trauma combined. But by understanding the symptoms and creating an action plan in the event of an attack, you can greatly improve your chances of survival.

The longer the time span between the onset of a heart attack and its treatment, the smaller the chances of survival. Patients treated 90 minutes or more after their attack have a much smaller chance of survival. Hospitals that partner with emergency medical system (EMS) providers to provide pre-hospital testing are preferable to those that do not. EMS teams can relay a patient’s electrocardiogram (EKG) from the emergency site or ambulance to the hospital, where physicians can determine a heart attack diagnosis and prepare for the patient’s arrival. 

Of course, it doesn’t make much difference how fast you get to a hospital if that hospital can’t help you. Not all hospitals are equipped to treat heart attacks, and not all hospitals that treat heart attacks do so equally well. More than 60 percent of U.S. hospitals lack the facilities required to perform the angioplasty, and the hospitals that rarely perform the procedure do it with less success than those that perform it often. Experience is essential. That’s why thousands of people trust their heart to The Christ Hospital each year.

A preeminent center for cardiac care, The Christ Hospital Heart and Vascular Center is home to world-class physicians that are experts in the entire spectrum of heart and vascular care, providing the most comprehensive and advanced treatment options available. The hospital employs a subspecialty approach, meaning its doctors and nurses possess special skills in dedicated areas, such as clinical cardiology, heart valve disease, vascular disease, advanced heart failure, hypertension and cardiac rhythm disorders..

The Christ Hospital’s EMS integration allows heart attack care to begin before you arrive at the hospital. Patients are able to save valuable time, bypassing the emergency room and going straight to the cardiac catheterization laboratory, where physicians are ready to provide immediate and effective heart attack treatment.

This treatment is state of the art, thanks to The Christ Hospital’s Lindner Research Center and its commitment to research. In fact, the Lindner Research Center was ranked first overall in performance in a quarterly review of the top 49 cardiovascular clinical research centers in the U.S. The ranking, conducted by Medtronic, a leader in medical technology solutions, signals The Christ Hospital’s leadership role in innovating treatments for heart disease.

“Clinical research provides Tristate patients earlier access to new cardiovascular treatments. Our work is advancing cardiovascular care on a national level while providing a unique resource to heart patients in our community,” says Dean Kereiakes, medical director, The Christ Hospital Heart and Vascular Center and the Lindner Research Center.

As the region’s leader in heart and vascular care, The Christ Hospital has conducted more than 1,200 clinical trials and introduced many of the new technologies in cardiovascular medicine over the past 25 years. The Lindner Research Center has successfully tested transformative heart-valve disease therapies that don’t require open-heart surgery, including aortic valve replacement and mitral valve repair. These procedures are life-saving alternatives for patients suffering from severe heart disease who are not stable enough to undergo surgery.

Moreover, The Christ Hospital was first in the nation to enroll heart patients in a clinical trial to evaluate a dissolvable stent to open blocked arteries. This new stent opens the blockage, then returns the artery to its normal state as it dissolves, thus reducing the risk for future heart complications.

The Christ Hospital is also innovating stem-cell therapies. A groundbreaking trial currently underway will evaluate the ability of regenerative stem-cell therapies to repair and rejuvenate heart muscle damaged during a heart attack. Preliminary results are promising, indicating the ability of the stem-cell therapies to improve heart function and increase blood flow from the heart to the rest of the body.

These are just a few of the incredible treatments available at The Christ Hospital, many of which are not available at other institutions. Patients have access to these treatments as well as the advanced quality care of The Christ Hospital, all of which validates its earned reputation for excellence, innovation and experience. 


The Christ Hospital is located at 2139 Auburn Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45219. You can find a physician by calling 513.585.1000 or visit their website at